Actor and musician Jamie Campbell Bower is no stranger to Hunger. Since first appearing in issue five Jamie has gone on to grace the cover of our Mighty Blighty issue and become a regular on Hunger TV and in Rankin’s projects. But never before have we featured the buoyant star with his band, The Darling Buds. Until now that is.
Sick of the status quo and the junk food culture that has developed in mainstream music, The Darling Buds, four musicians with the sole ambition of creating heartfelt, thrashing music that actually means something, look set to shake up the mainstream. Friends for years, the band are doing things their way, even if that means that success is slow burning. And fair play to them – while so many artists these days are out for a quick buck or a chart-topping crowd pleaser, and the sole ambition of a worrying percentage of teenagers is to just ‘be famous’, The Darling Buds would rather hold off on label deals and over exposure at the risk of losing what really matters to them – themselves. We sit down with the band to talk authenticity, the re-emergence of British rock and, erm, peeing at 50 miles per hour.
TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU MET, WAS IT MUSIC THAT BROUGHT YOU TOGETHER?
Tristan: Unfortunately it wasn’t, it was more proximity!
Jamie: Tristain and I went to school together, I think I met him when I was six or seven years old…wow that’s bad…
Dan: I met Jamie in about 2008 when he moved to Ealing in London and we started hanging out.
Jamie: And then we just met Roland on the side of the street (laughs).
Roland: I just walked in! No, I actually met Tristan at a party. Neither of us knew anyone and the host was like, “you do music, he does music, talk!” We did and here we are.
Jamie: I had been trying to get the band started for the while and it wasn’t really going where I wanted it to, it wasn’t going great to be honest. Dan I played together for a long time prior to the line up that you see now. We had another bassist but it didn’t really work out and then I had some time off from acting, I was basically paid to do nothing, which was initially great. The first three weeks was badass but then I started to lose my shit, and I thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if now, with a bit of life experience under our belts we went back and tried something new”. Tristan and I had played a bit together and done the odd practice and then we started kicking it off again. We played a couple of acoustic shows in London; one outside the Tate and one near the OXO tower and about 300 kids turned up each night. I was like, “fuck, this is mad”, but it made us want to do this properly so we were searching for a bassist and everything sort of fell into place.
Tristan: We met Roland around then and it was like a jigsaw puzzle, everything fell in to place. It’s funny how things work out.
“I DON’T THINK I’D REALLY BE ALIVE WITHOUT IT, IN ALL HONESTY.”
SO WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS LINE UP THAT WORKS, THAT DIDN’T BEFORE?
Jamie: We’re all really different.
Tristan: I think if you’re too similar you bounce off each others.
Dan: None of us are afraid to say what we think either, so it’s good to have a lot of different opinions.
Roland: There are a lot of different opinions but I think we just have fun together too. We went to LA recently and it was fucking mad. The memories that we have I’ll never forget.
Jamie: (laughing) I can’t remember anything!
Dan: The only problem now is that because there’s four of us band tiffs sometimes end in two two, so it’s a draw.
Jamie: We just need to remember that everyone is entitled to my opinion! (laughs) We also all have different musical tastes, and that adds a new layer, a little bit of spiciness. I’m sure Tristan won’t mind me saying this but Tristan hasn’t played in a band before, this is pretty much his first experience of live guitar performance. And that’s exciting in itself. His first show was a sold out venue in Copenhagen where 300 kids were singing the songs back at him. And that’s exciting.
“NOW THE TIME HAS COME WHERE WE HAVE TO PUT THE HARD WORK INTO OUR CRAFT. IT SOUNDS WANKY BUT FOR ME, THAT’S WHAT I THINK.”